Just two weeks after being criticised by suppliers for demanding a 5% price cut, Waitrose has come under fire again for ramping up its use of technical charges.

Suppliers told The Grocer the chain had increased artwork, technical and compliance charges and had begun slapping regular fines on suppliers for late orders.

“We now receive a regular non-compliance invoice from Waitrose for any delivery issues,” said one supplier. “Waitrose needs to be very careful as it may lose the goodwill it currently has in the supplier base. It is one thing Tesco making deductions but Waitrose…” Another said: “I would imagine that a lot of companies would tell Waitrose to go away but smaller companies might feel the need to cave in.”

Waitrose denied it had changed its charges. “There is absolutely nothing new here. Our terms and conditions are clearly set out for suppliers on our website we have a positive relationship with our suppliers and intend to keep it that way,” said a spokeswoman.